Sunday, May 07, 2006

The long road ahead

After last weekend’s running disaster, I’ve decided to change my entire training focus. The fact that I was unable to run 9 miles on Saturday and follow this up with 8 miles on Sunday without hurting myself points to a general conditioning problem. Looking back over my running log for the past 3 months, I see that I’ve got plenty of days running an easy 3 miles with a longer run of 5 to 6 miles sprinkled in; however, most days are limited to 3 miles.

I spent a bit of time reading up on conditioning on Friday night and I’ve decided to spend the next two months on general conditioning and not worry about my speed. I’ll bring my target “easy” pace down from 8:45 to 9:30 and start increasing the weekly totals and increase the distance of my "long" runs.

The first weekend using this approach worked well. I ran 8.4 miles along the eastern side of Reach 11 Park on Saturday and followed this up with a 6.6 mile run on the same trails on Sunday. Average pace on Saturday was 9:17 and Sunday was 9:15. Unlike last weekend, I didn’t come home with any injuries. My pace was a bit faster than the 9:30 target I set, but most of this was do to the “trail horse heading to the barn” syndrome; I kept speeding up as I got closer to my car. I did keep my pace above 9:00 throughout the entire run to ensure that I didn’t find myself with anymore injuries.

So far so good. I’m targeting 22 miles this week (a 10% increase over my 4 month average). I know it is way too early to declare victory, but this approach feels right. We'll see if I can keep it up as the time commitment increases.

Keep running

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